Health education for seniors: an analysis under Paulo Freire’s perspective
Population aging is one of the hardest challenges for the current public health, however, for a proper attention to the elders, the development of reachable social and health policies which are consistent with the real needs of this population stratum it is essential. Thus, the aim of this research is to analyze the perceptions of nurses about health education for the elderly, according to the conceptions of Paulo Freire.
It is a descriptive study with a qualitative approach, conducted in the city of Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará, Brazil taking as a background the Unidades de Saúde da Família – USF (Family Health Units). Eighteen nurses participated in this survey. The semi-structured interview was used for gathering data, and to organize those data to the analyses of contents. The analysis of the obtained data started since the conceptions of Paulo Freire and from some relevant articles related to the topic.
Considering the health concept as a tool to develop people, it was observed in this sense, that some professionals associate health education focused on knowledge exchange, behavior changes, and decision making in health, matching the Freireana ideology of questionable methodology. However, they also identified someprofessionals with a misperception in relation to the health education, since they associate the approach only focused on the concept of health, grounded in the absence of a disease, thus characterizing, a learning bank methodology, since they resort to vertical transmission of knowledge. It was evinced yet that the educational actions performed by those professionals envisioning healthy aging are directed from the identification of prevalent diseases within the community, and that the strict population that receives such assistance it is restricted only to the individuals who seek theUnits (USF), or those who are affected by diseases.
It is thought that health education is the instrument that enables the change of behavior and decision making in health care for the users, but it should be planned on an ongoing manner, considering the reality of population, using methodologies that promote dialogue, essential element to establish the necessary link for conducting practical aspectson the perspective of health promotion.
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